Ensuring Student Data Privacy within Manually Created Non-Catalog Sites

A manually created “special use” non-catalog course (i.e. new student orientation, graduate student orientation, program orientations, career center sites) which enrolls our undergraduate and/or graduate students must ensure the course meets FERPA requirements as well as any other privacy laws that may apply.  If you are the person (i.e. Teacher role) responsible for a “special use” Canvas course, the following guidelines must be followed to ensure the course meets FERPA requirements.  

  • People tool must be turned off.
  • Students are manually enrolled using the “Participant” role. This new role in Canvas is the same as the “Student” role except this role turns off the ability for students to send messages to individual course members.This avoids any FERPA concerns regarding seeing students names when using the Inbox.
  • If using announcements, turn off the setting in each course “Disable comments on announcements”. This will ensure that students cannot see each others’ names if someone chooses to comment. All students will still see the announcements.
  • Add language when using the Discussion tool similar to the following: “Discussion topics can be added to post content or questions for other students and staff to view and respond to. A discussion post will include the name and comments from the original discussion creator as well as other students and staff enrolled in the course.”
  • Other tools disabled by default which should not be enabled: Collaborations, Conferences, Chat

If you have multiple sections in your course, please refer to Ensuring Student Data Privacy within Combined Course Sections document for additional changes that should be made. Because you will be using the “Participant” role when enrolling students, you can ignore the Student Visibility section of this page.

We all are asked to review and acknowledge the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) responsibilities to students. The policies and information can be found on the page http://www.udel.edu/ferpaforfac/ on the Registrar’s web site.  If you have questions about FERPA requirements, contact the Office of the University Registrar at registrar@udel.edu.